I have a free weekend to look forward to — which, despite my general impression that I don’t do very much, is a rare enough thing. I need to come up with some kind of priority schedule for accomplishing things, so I don’t get paralyzed by all the free time.

But not right now. Tonight I have a ‘book exchange’ event, hosted by the book club that I joined on the Internet last year. . .and haven’t attended for six or eight months. Maybe a year. Maybe I joined two years ago and stopped attending one year ago. But. I promised myself I’d go tonight, since I didn’t actually have to get anything read. Instead, I just need to bring some snacks and a book (or more) to trade.

Picking a book to take was harder than I thought it would be. I have a lot of books, but coming up with one that I have read, that someone else in the group would likely want to read, that I want to share, don’t realistically think I’m going to read again any time soon, that wasn’t a gift, doesn’t actually belong to someone else, and that I don’t anticipate wanting to show off or use for reference — well, that’s tricky. Of course, those aren’t the rules of the exchange. They’re my rules. The most subjective ones are that it should be a book I have read and want to share. It would be easy enough to dump a book I haven’t finished (or started) and don’t intend to. Even after purging my shelves of things I could sell to the used book store, there are plenty to choose from. But it seems to violate the spirit of the event a bit. I’d like to be able to point to whatever I brought and say something nice about it.

After raiding my shelves (or, you know, the boxes I haven’t unpacked yet), I came up with Julia Glass’s Three Junes and Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle. I love both of these books a whole lot, but I don’t see returning to them anytime soon. I’ll probably go with Three Junes as the one I’m less likely to read again. Though Castle has a movie tie-in cover, so is less desirable to keep on principle (and I can justify replacing it with a Kindle edition maybe?); plus I really liked the movie, so if I give it to somebody who doesn’t end up reading it, they might be inclined to check out the movie anyway. Hmm, still pondering. I may throw both in my bag and go with my gut when I get there.

As a bonus, I’ll be contributing Mondo Barbie, an anthology of fiction and poetry on the theme of Barbie dolls. I picked this up in a used book store on the way back from a trip to Atlantic City on Fourth of July Weekend in. . .um, could 2003 be right? More because it amused me that the thing existed rather than out of any intent to read it, which seems like the kind of reasoning that makes it a good potluck contribution. I hesitate now, because I hadn’t realized I associated the book with such a specific memory.
On the other hand, it was a really awful trip.

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